Drought response

Brisbane, and all South East Queensland, are currently in the ‘drought response phase’ of Seqwater’s Drought Response Plan. This is due to the SEQ Water Grid drinking water supply capacity falling to below 60%.

During the drought response, Seqwater will increase production at its Gold Coast desalination plant up to 100 percent and operate the water grid to best preserve dam levels.

Drinking water is a precious resource that plays a vital part in our daily lives and is considered the foundation of a healthy community and prosperous city. As a subtropical city, Brisbane is affected by flood and drought. Brisbane City Council is prepared for all weather patterns. 

Council’s role

In times of drought, Council limits its operational water usage and supports Brisbane residents to do the same.

Seqwater and Urban Utilities provide water services to Brisbane, including the bulk storage, retail supply and wastewater services.

Council works with Seqwater and Urban Utilities:

  • to ensure Brisbane’s water supply is of best value, high quality and sustainably managed, now and for future generations
  • action water-efficiency measures and support Brisbane’s residents and businesses to reduce their water use.

For information on regional water supply and daily updates of the SEQ Water Grid levels, visit Seqwater.

For more information on Brisbane water supply and wastewater services visit Urban Utilities

What we're doing to save water

Council is a leader in sustainable water use initiatives including stormwater harvesting and reuse, water-smart street trees and using recycled water at Council facilities where feasible.

Council's approach is based on monitoring, reducing our water use, and seeking to replace the use of potable water where possible.

Council is already taking action to limit our water usage and water wastage, including:

  • installing water-efficient devices on our assets, for example on showers at Council pools
  • harvesting, storing and using rainwater for use by Council operations
  • keeping Council gardens, sports fields and parks green through the Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse program, which decreases the water usage at more than 29 sites across the city
  • proactively identifying water leaks and repairing as soon as possible
  • trialling new innovations such as smart meters to watch our water use and help operators minimise water wastage.

How you can help save water

Everyone needs to act in ways that reduces their water use.

Here are some simple tips to help save water at home - in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry, garage, garden and pool:

  • fix dripping taps and leaking toilet cisterns
  • choose water-efficient washing machines, toilets, shower heads, dishwashers and other appliances
  • take a shorter shower
  • turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving
  • use the toilet half flush when appropriate
  • only use the dishwasher when it is full
  • avoid peeling vegetables under running water. Use a bowl of water or rinse once peeled
  • only use the washing machine with a full load and on the most efficient cycle
  • wash your car on the lawn, using a bucket or a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle
  • use a fixed automatic car wash service
  • try using a waterless car washing product
  • use a broom, brush, blower or rake to sweep and clean outdoor paths and paving
  • use a cover for your swimming pool and fix leaks immediately
  • use your rainwater tank to water your garden
  • use a timer if using a sprinkler or irrigation system in your garden
  • water your garden before 8am or after 4pm – out of the heat of the day when evaporation is at its highest
  • select plants that can tolerate dry conditions.

Looking for more tips? Read our full list of water-smart actions for the home. Seqwater and Urban Utilities also provide information on how you can be water wise.

Report an issue

You can report a water leak or maintenance issue you see anywhere in the Brisbane area by contacting Council online, phone or SMS.

Last updated:9 October 2020
Topics: water